śaka शक

Definition: m. plural Name of a particular white-skinned tribe or race of people (in the legends which relate the contests between vasiṣṭha- and viśvāmitra- the śaka-s are fabled to have been produced by the Cow of vasiṣṭha-, from her sweat, for the destruction of viśvāmitra-'s army; in , they are mentioned together with the pauṇḍraka-s, oḍra-s, draviḍa-s, kāmboja-s, javana-s or yavana-s, pārada-s, pahlava-s, cīna-s, kirāta-s, darada-s, and khaśa-s, described by as degraded tribes of kṣatriya-s called after the districts in which they reside: according to the ,king sagara- attempted to rid his kingdom of these tribes, but did not succeed in destroying them all : they are sometimes regarded as the followers of śaka- or śāli-vāhana-, and are probably to be identified with the Tartars or Indo-Scythians [ Latin saca-]who overran India before the Aryans, and were conquered by the great vikramāditya- [q.v.]; they really seem to have been dominant in the north-west of India in the last century before and the first two centuries after the beginning of our era) etc.

Dictionary: Monier-Williams
Literary Sources: Mn. x , 44, Kull., VP. iv , 3, AV.Paris3., Mn., MBh.
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